Rarely have I seen anything as intense as this up close in my life. It is called determination. This is a picture of my daughter running her last cross country race in 2010. She passed that girl up and came in 3rd place that year. I can see it in her eyes before a race it begins to simmer and as her heart beats faster before that gun sounds she is ready. She always sprints from the line with sheer power. As she races 1 mile she holds her pace. She always has a strategy as she runs. Sometimes the strategy is to pass the runner in front of her. Sometimes it is to hold back a little until the shoot and then let it all go in a full on sprint. That is what she was doing in this picture. That little girl ahead of her looked over her shoulder and within 2 seconds Anna blew passed her. People see my daughter in the last 100 yards of a race and cannot believe her speed after she has run almost a mile. It takes conditioning her body over a few months. It takes exercise, training and lots of running. But what she was given from God was determination, confidence and an unbelievable drive to leave everything she has out there on that course.
As a mom I run next to her cheering her on screaming her name. She said after the race, “I heard you yelling my name mom.” I can’t help but smile and cry happy tears. It is so rewarding to see your child doing the best they possibly can do right in front of you. There is nothing like the pride of a loving parent. I don’t care if that child comes in 1st place or last place if you know your child is doing their very best you are proud beyond words. She gets that determination from me and her father but mainly she gets it from God. Before her very first race in 3rd grade I whispered in her ear “You will not be alone on that course. You know why? It is because God will be with you. Even when you want to fall over or think you can no longer make it. Just know that God is there and ask Him to help you through. He will do it.” Now before each race I get her all ramped up and I quietly ask her before I walk away “Anna, will you be alone out there?” She always answers me “No, mom God will be out there with me.”
You can practice, exercise, condition and work on your body until you are in perfect condition. You can eat the right foods and read the right magazines and information on how to run. You can do all of this but without faith that God has given you this determination and ability I do not think you can run your best possible race. In all things we should give the glory and praise to God, for He is the provider, the creator and above all things our Father. It is because of God that my Anna runs with such determination. God is who I thank when the race is over.